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Rules & regulations

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New Zealand Fishing Licences

2016 2017 Licence

Whether fishing independently or with a guide, you must have a licence to fish for trout, salmon and coarse fish in New Zealand and you must carry it with you when fishing.

A Fish & Game licence covers all of New Zealand except the Taupo fishery area (and an additional back-country licence is required for a few specified rivers).

A licence permits you to fish according to the current regulations for the region. The regional regulations define where, when and how you can fish specific waters. They also specify the maximum number of fish you can take and the mininum size of fish.

Regulations

For details of the regulations, see the sportsfishing regulations.

Types of licence
Types of licence

Fish & Game sportsfishing licence

A Fish & Game sportsfishing licence covers all of New Zealand except the Taupo fishery area. An additional back-country licence is required for a few specified rivers.  Visitors from overseas planning more than a brief fishing trip must buy a Non-Resident Licence (NRL).

Taupo fishery licence

A licence issued by the Department of Conservation (DOC) is required to fish the lakes and rivers in the Taupo area.

Clean Gear Certificate

A Clean Gear Certificate is a required for most Fiordland lakes and rivers as a didymo prevention measure. See the Southland regulations for details.

DOC concession

Fishing guides who take clients into an area managed by DOC must have a concession for the conservancy or else be covered by the NZPFGA bulk concession, and helicopter operators who land in an area managed by DOC must have a DOC concession to do so.

Fish & Game sportsfishing licences
Fish & Game licence info

A whole season (full year) licence is valid for one year from 1 October until the end of September the following year.

You can buy a Fish & Game licence:

  • Online at Fish & Game online licencing

    You will need:

    - your existing licence (if applicable)

    - your credit card
    Your licence will be posted to you anywhere in New Zealand but you can print the details and use it before it arrives.

  • From most fishing and sports shops and some service stations, bookshops and general stores.
  • At any local Fish & Game office

Back-country and controlled period licences

Because of high use, a back country licence, at no extra cost, is also required for some rivers in the Otago, Southland and Wellington regions:

See back country licences for further details.

Fish & Game licence costs: 2016-2017 season

Definitions

Whole season: 1 Oct 2016 to 30 Sept 2017

Winter: 1 April 2017 to 30 Sept 2017

Non-resident: A person who is neither a New Zealand citizen nor a permanent resident as defined in section 4 of the Immigration Act 2009

Family: 2 adults and up to 4 juniors and/or children

Adult: 18+ years on 1/10/2016

Junior: 12-17 years on 1/10/2016

Child: Under 12 on 1/10/2016

Whole season licences

Family - NZ resident only: $163

Adult - NZ resident: $125

Adult - Non-resident (NRL): $163

Junior - NZ resident and non-resident: $25

Child - NZ resident and non-resident: Free

Local Area Licence 

For anglers who only wish to fish one region in New Zealand.

$100

Loyal senior licence

For the long-time NZ anglers over 65 who’ve held a licence for five consecutive years or more.

$106

Short break licence

For NZ anglers who want three consecutive days fishing (User selects the start time)

Adult $45

Long break licence

For NZ anglers who want to fish nine consecutive days such as two weekends and the days in between. (User selects the start time)

Adult $88

One day licence

Adult: $20 (NZ residents and non-residents)

Junior: $5

Child: Free

Winter licence

(NZ residents only)

Adult $75

Junior: $15

Child: Free

Additional licences for specific waters

Backcountry licence: Free

Controlled-period licence: Free

Taupo fishery licences
Taupo fishery licences

DOC logo

The Taupo fishery area is managed by the Department of Conservation (DOC) and a special licence is required to fish in the Taupo region. Fish & Game licences cannot be used here.

A full year licence is valid from 1 July and expires at the end of June.

Types of licence

You can choose to purchase an adult or a child licence that allows you to fish Taupo for either 24 hours, one week or a full year subject to the regulations. See Taupo regulations.

Where to obtain a Taupo licence

Taupo fishing licences can be:

Fishing licence fees

( 1 July 2016-30 June 2017)

Adult $90 season

Adult week $38

Adult 24 hour $17

Child $12.50 season

Child 24 hour $4.50

DOC concessions
 DOC concessions
  • Fishing guides who take clients into an area managed by DOC must have a concession for the conservancy or else be covered by the NZPFGA bulk concession.
  • Helicopter operators who land in an area managed by DOC must have a DOC concession to do so.

Holding a DOC concession is the responsibility of the guide or operator; they alone risk prosecution if operating a commercial activity without one.

Read more about concessions at the DOC website.

 

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